Are We Smart Enough To Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans De WaalAre We Smart Enough To Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans De Waal

Are We Smart Enough To Know How Smart Animals Are?

byFrans De Waal

Hardcover | May 10, 2016

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A New York Times Bestseller

From world-renowned biologist and primatologist Frans de Waal, a groundbreaking work on animal intelligence destined to become a classic.

What separates your mind from an animal’s? Maybe you think it’s your ability to design tools, your sense of self, or your grasp of past and future—all traits that have helped us define ourselves as the planet’s preeminent species. But in recent decades, these claims have eroded, or even been disproven outright, by a revolution in the study of animal cognition. Take the way octopuses use coconut shells as tools; elephants that classify humans by age, gender, and language; or Ayumu, the young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame. Based on research involving crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, whales, and of course chimpanzees and bonobos, Frans de Waal explores both the scope and the depth of animal intelligence. He offers a firsthand account of how science has stood traditional behaviorism on its head by revealing how smart animals really are, and how we’ve underestimated their abilities for too long.

People often assume a cognitive ladder, from lower to higher forms, with our own intelligence at the top. But what if it is more like a bush, with cognition taking different forms that are often incomparable to ours? Would you presume yourself dumber than a squirrel because you’re less adept at recalling the locations of hundreds of buried acorns? Or would you judge your perception of your surroundings as more sophisticated than that of a echolocating bat? De Waal reviews the rise and fall of the mechanistic view of animals and opens our minds to the idea that animal minds are far more intricate and complex than we have assumed. De Waal’s landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal—and human—intelligence.

Frans de Waal has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. The author of Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?, among many other works, he is the C. H. Candler Professor in Emory University’s Psychology Department and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. ...
Title:Are We Smart Enough To Know How Smart Animals Are?Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.5 × 6.4 × 1.12 inPublished:May 10, 2016Publisher:NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0393246183

ISBN - 13:9780393246186

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thought Provoking De Waal pulled together a great collection of experiments and anecdotes on animal behaviour written with enough scientific analysis to back up the ideas but written in plain enough language that anyone can read and understand. The anecdotes were probably the most amusing to read, but it was great that the experiments were there to support the hypotheses drawn from these events. Perhaps the most interesting was the focus put on the importance of defining intelligence. The classic "If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” by Albert Einstein is demonstrated over and over again in failed experiments that succeed once the animal's lifestyle is factored into the equation. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as did my father-in-law who kept stealing it to read it when I left it unattended!
Date published: 2017-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read Are we smart enough to know how smart animals are? Most days I would have to say no. :) Especially after reading some of Trump's tweets! :) But on the most part we are smart enough to know how much we don't know about animal intelligence and behaviour, so I guess that is a step in the right direction.
Date published: 2017-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from very good very interesting. a must read.
Date published: 2017-02-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting read Interesting read. It will make you think differently about the animal world after you read it.
Date published: 2017-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very I teresting book Make you to start thinking differently about animal world. Highly recommend
Date published: 2016-12-09

Editorial Reviews

A good book. Read it instead of watching TV or playing video games. The whole world will be better as a result.—Maria Rodale, Daily BeastWhen I was growing up, aspiring naturalists or behavioral scientists would be given a copy of Konrad Lorenz’s zoological investigation King Solomon’s Ring to inspire them. With its wide-ranging and thought-provoking content, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? is an appropriate 21st-century replacement. If you are at all interested in what it is to be an animal, human or otherwise, you should read this book.—Matthew Cobb, The GuardianAn entertaining, convincing case for assessing each species’s intelligence on its own terms….not only full of information and thought-provoking, it’s also a lot of fun to read.—Nancy Szokan, The Washington PostAstonishing...has the makings of a classic--and one fantastic read.—PeopleA passionate and convincing case for the sophistication of nonhuman minds.—Alison Gopnik, The AtlanticA thoughtful and easy read, packed with information stemming from detailed empirical research, and one of de Waal's most comparative works that goes well beyond the world of nonhuman primates with whom he's most familiar.—Marc Bekoff, Psychology TodayEngaging and informative.—The New York TimesA beautifully written and delightfully conceived popular science book, written by an eminent researcher who has dedicated his career to making the general public aware of just how smart animals are.—Nicola Clayton, ScienceWalks us through research revealing what a ride range of animal species are actually capable all deals a pretty fierce wallop to our sense of specialness.—Jon Mooallem, New York Times Book ReviewA fascinating history of the study of animal behavior and cognition.—BarkThis is a remarkable book by a remarkable scientist. Drawing on a growing body of research including his own, de Waal shows that animals, from elephants and chimpanzees to the lowly invertebrates, are not only smarter than we thought, but also engaged in forms of thought we have only begun to understand.—Edward O. Wilson, University Professor Emeritus, Harvard UniversityAre We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? will completely change your perceptions of the abilities of animals. This book takes the reader on a fascinating journey of discovery into the world of animal problem-solving.—Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human